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Notre Dame Baseball

Link Jarrett Notebook | 6.3

June 3, 2021
561

Notre Dame baseball coach Link Jarrett spoke on Thursday as the Irish prepare for Friday's regional opener against Central Michigan.

On team bouncing back after a loss: 
“The last game we played, it wasn't a good matchup for (John Michael) Bertrand that day. It wasn't sharp and their guys were on it. Abbott was dominant and we've seen it all year. Early on, we got him and I think he was still adapting to being a starting pitcher. He was tough. 

"You don't like to go out on the field and perform less than you're capable of and it sticks with you. When you're not used to that, that's when that feeling resonates even deeper. 

"The guys were upset. It wasn't like we played poorly defensively. It was just a matchup that went their way. The first time around, it went our way and the last game just wasn't in the cards and they beat us. 

"We've had several practices and the guys are ready to play. At this point in the season, you need to fine-tune, but the desire to go compete and play is what is evident right now. They're excited and ready. They're chomping at the bit. That adrenaline and that feeling probably hasn't been in the air in this stadium in this part of the season in a long time. They're excited to bring postseason baseball back and they've been good at practice. 

"I feel like we're healthy and it's time to go compete." 


On John Michael Bertrand's mindset:
"He's fine. The blessing in disguise is when you don't have a good outing - we got him out of there. It wasn't going his way and we didn't want to overdo it because he's thrown a lot of innings. It's a lot of high-pressure innings and we were able to get him out of there after 30-35 pitches. 

"He's rested and he needed it. He's fine. He learned some things from that outing. He's an upbeat kid and he enjoys the work and everything that goes into being a competitive pitcher at this level. He embraces all of it. 

"He's excited and ready to go."


On starting Bertrand game one:
"They're a patient team and they're a little bit more left-handed oriented. We thought Bertrand essentially being one of our more consistent strike throwers and has matched up pretty well against the lefties - he kind of handles fielding his position in the running game. We thought it was the way to go. 

"It seemed like the right matchup and it gives us the ability to use (Will) Mercer in a shorter stint tomorrow if we needed to and you still have (Tanner) Kohlhepp and (Aidan) Tyrell ready to go. 

"This thing is designed to be more efficient for you if you win the first game. We wanted to put ourselves in a position to do that. This is a tough regional. Every team in this is capable of winning this."


On 100 percent capacity this weekend:
"Paul Mainieri always told me when you get it going, they support it. They love it in South Bend and this region. He's right. 

"We were at practice the other day and they announced the capacity and the tickets went on sale. I heard our guys talking about how it sold out in an hour. It means something to them because they recognize the significance and they also experienced how difficult it is to play this season and travel the way they traveled and beat the teams they had to beat to win the ACC. 

"Part of the reward for them is to know that people want to come watch. That makes it exciting. Our games here were good, but any athlete will tell you when you're playing in a setting that's packed with fans, there's just more energy. It's a little more exciting and you feel like maybe your capabilities are greater because you're energized from the presence of the crowd and the noise. It's a better setting. 

"They're excited. For them to talk about that, it caught me and that tells you how much it means to the guys." 


On differences in the regular season and postseason:
"It's really the format of the tournament and the fact that the chance of playing the same team back-to-back days is rare if not impossible. You might double up on somebody, but you have to adjust from going into a three-game series with a plan for how to win the game on Friday to playing a game on Friday knowing that's your one shot at that team. It's kind of a winner take all mindset. 

"We try to approach every game in our season as a one-game competition. Ultimately, the accumulation and the record is a summary of those one-game competitions. The difference is there are four teams in this event, but you still are playing one game and one team at a time. 

"Our talk today revolved around the fact that this tournament revolves around Central Michigan Friday at 1pm. That's it. After that, we don't know. All hands on deck on Friday to win a way to beat a very good team and one of the most impressive pitchers in college baseball when you break down the numbers and metrics. 

"Your hands are full just with game one. That's how we're looking at it. (Scott) Wingo talked to the guys today and he was great. He's had probably more postseason college success than anybody and his point was you battle every single inning. We might play nine innings Friday or 12. He said he went into it and he was going to find a way to win the game, whether it was the eighth or third inning. 

"Our guys were so fired up. They went running out on the field for practice jumping over the fence and everything. He was great with them and he's been such an instrumental part of it. He's captured the essence of the postseason in his career. It was fun for him to talk to the guys today." 


On health of the team:
"Everybody is good. The ACC Tournament is unique. It was my first time in it. We left on a sour note. You're 1-1 and you lost the second game, but I see why in some cases, it helps one of your higher seeds that doesn't make it into the weekend. It gives you a chance to recover.

"We were not happy with sitting the weekend out and recovering, but at this point in the year, having a couple days to regroup - we were on the road for 10-11 days following the exams at Notre Dame, which aren't a cakewalk. It was a grind at the end of the year. 

"I think it's good they got a chance to rest, recover and regroup a little bit with a couple practices. You can tell they're good on practice. These guys are ready to go compete and play. The rest and the break was a positive in a negative way that the tournament ended." 


On scouting the other teams in the regional:
"We started Monday when we got back to the facility. Chuck (Ristano) and Rich (Wallace) do a great job all year of dissecting the information. We piece together what we want to be something the players can handle. When you dive into the metrics and the information that's available, sometimes I think it can be overwhelming with how much data is out there in the baseball world. 

"We try to condense that and put it in terms and a form of information that they can latch onto that gives them enough to have a good idea of what to do when they see a certain pitcher or face a certain hitter or to give them enough about the personality of how a team plays. That's what we try to do. 

"It's less demanding on the players than it is on my staff to decide what to decipher and what to relay to them. I feel like our assistants have done a phenomenal job with our scouting and preparation. I feel it's another reason as to why we were successful is just the details that go into the preparation, but keeping it simple enough so the players feel like they can apply it without having information overload. I tip my hate to Rich and Chuck for how they've gathered and presented that to the team. it's been really impressive." 

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Link Jarrett Notebook | 6.3

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